Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lumia versus Lumia: The Nokia Lumia 520 & 720 compared

The two latest Nokia Lumia releases look like they will be good sellers. The biggest factor that might hold them back is that Windows Phone operating system is not well known in the Philippines. The Nokia brand is another matter. The name Nokia still carries a fair amount of weight around here.

Nokia Lumia 720

There is a big price gap between these two phones. The lowest price I have found the Nokia Lumia 720 is selling for, with a official warranty, is Php13,990.  As for the Nokia Lumia, it can be had for Php7,450 with an official warranty. That is a price difference of Php6,500. Basically, you can almost buy two Lumia 520's for the cost of one Lumia 720. Is the Lumia 720 twice as good?

Nokia Lumia 520

Display. The Lumia 720 has a 4.3-inch display, which is substantially larger than the 4-inch display of the Lumia 520. Both screens are WVGA displays with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. This actually means that the Lumia 520 has the sharper display, but the Lumia 720 uses ClearBlack technology which gives it better contrast. The Lumia 720 also has a Gorilla Glass protected display, while the Lumia 520 has a scratch resistant display of lesser durability.

Winner: Lumia 720

Power. Both phones have dual core 1 GHz Qualcomm Krait processors, Adreno 305 graphics and 512 MB of RAM.

Winner: Tie

Storage. Both phones have 8 GB of internal storage, expandable via a MicroSD card slot. MicroSD cards of up to 64 GB are officially supported.

Winner: Tie

Connectivity. Both phones support HSPA+ connectivity.

Winner: Tie

Cameras. The Lumia 720 has a front camera, while the Lumia 520 has none. The Lumia 720 has a better camera with a larger sensor and higher quality lens. You can compare image samples at this link: GSM Arena Compare Tool. The Lumia 720 also has a flash for its camera, while the Lumia 520 does not.

Winner: Lumia 720

Battery life. The Lumia 720 has pretty good battery life. The battery on the Lumia 720 is a healty 2000 mAh unit. The Lumia 520 has a smaller 1430 mAh battery. While the smaller 4-inch display on the Lumia 520 will use less power than the 4.3-inch on the Lumia 720,  I estimate that the Lumia 720 will have about 10-15% better battery life on task where the screen is on, and the gaps gets much larger in terms of talk and standby times.

Winner: Lumia 720

Conclusion. No doubt, the Lumia 720 is the better phone, with a a larger and higher quality display, a front camera, a better quality primary camera and longer battery life. But for the price gap, it is clear the Lumia 520 is a really good deal, while the Lumia 720 a nice phone for the money but not as good as a value for money proposition as the Lumia 520.

1 comment:

  1. I was skeptical on buying Windows Phone first, but then every review I read on sites was praising it like it was the best thing in the world, and anyone who says something negative gets bashed by Windows Phone fans. As for me I have used Windows Mobile 6.x, Symbian S60 & S90, Android JB (current), iOS 6 (current). Let me start by saying that Android for me is still the best OS in the market, it's simple for a normal user while can be tweaked beyond limit for an advanced user according to one's need. iOS while pretty limited still has best quality apps and best games are still iOS only or come to iOS first. Now Windows Phone is a has a strange dilemma, it wants to be like Android by supporting various devices from different manufacturers while it wants to mimic iOS in terms of less fragmentation by limiting the specs and features. And because of this sole reason it is failing to capture both sides. By limiting the customizability and hardware support Microsoft has limited the manufacturers ability to differentiate themselves from one another in the market, while allowing Nokia to add custom features is also adding the fragmentation to the WP market. Also the dead WP7 is nothing but fragmentation. This makes MS position really difficult neither it can compete with Android for it's customizability nor the integration and less fragmentation of iOS.
    Now coming onto the looks of the OS, I agree it looks better in personal then in pictures. But still nothing much to write about, I still prefer the Android which can be customized to one's liking. The much hyped live-tiles are nothing but dumbed down widgets of Android. As for the performance although this device is not the most powerful device, but still it boasts of pretty decent hardware Dual-core Krait and 512 MB RAM with Adreno 305. I can still notice a small lag when I click an application in the Start Screen even when phone was brand new with up-to-date OS and no extra apps installed. As far as apps are concerned no prizes for guessing, very few apps exist. Most big apps are either missing, out-dated, or developed by Microsoft themselves or by some unknown third-party developers. Most basic features taken for granted in others OSs are missing. One of the most irritating thing I noticed was that it instantly dropped WiFi and canceled all downloads from Windows app store as soon as screen locked out.
    Everything aside, I can't blame Nokia here much, they managed to give decent hardware specs at a very affordable price. This phone shares design cues from it's bigger Lumia brothers. But this is not a unibody design and back covers are interchangeable. I do hate how difficult it is to open the back cover as there is no latch or switch to make cover lose but you need to take it off from every corner slowly to avoid scratching the screen till it comes off. The screen is average and has no Gorilla Glass, plus it attracts a lots of finger marks.
    In the end this is a really good phone which is let down by an average OS.
    I would recommend it less tech-savvy people who don't need much features from their smartphone, and someone who is upgrading feature phone for first time and does not want to be intimated by the features of Android and does not want to spend more money on iPhone.


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